Sunday, January 27, 2008

Becoming Like a Child

Jesus shocks and amazes his audience once again when he proclaims: "Unless you become like a child, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God." He told the people another time, "Whoever welcomes a little child in my name welcomes me."

This is yet another extreme reversal statement in his culture. In Jesus' day, the culture wasn't centered on children. Value went to the elderly for their wisdom in life. Children were often considered just another pair of hands to work. The disciples tried to shew the children away who came to see Jesus, figuring that he had much more important work to do.

How do we value children?
Sometimes I look around and see that often parent's give children too much authority; when they are rather desperate for the adults in their lives to lead them. But, at the same time, I see children shuffled off to daycares, put in front of videos and ignored as stressed out parents try to "get their important work done."

How can children point us to God?
How do children help us to have simple faith?
What do you think that Jesus meant when he said that we need to become like children to enter the kingdom of God?

I would love for Missio Lux to value children so much that we listen intently for their voices. I would like to see children included in the gatherings and given value for their contribution. I believe that one of the strengths of the Missio Lux structure is to reunite families as they discover together how to spiritually form as people. As families worship together and serve together and develop friendships with other community members, there will be much more to talk about at dinner than the latest television program or the newest Ipod download.

As we form the foundation, let's wrestle with what it means to be the Family of God. Let's make room for children just as Jesus did.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Becoming like a child. Open hearted, open minded, seeking, questioning, exploring, laughing, dancing, joy at the simple, accepting and simply loving. Growing/evolving.- Children.

Families have many ages and stages within its members. All are needed for their wisdom and unique design. I believe Missio Lux must be inclusive and open to all ages and stages of growth. From the soon to be born to the soon to go home to God. Celebrating each other and sharing in the love and care for each other and the world around us. Respecting, listening, encouraging, helping, noticing, connecting, hugging, doing together. Each one has value and has something to offer the whole. Missio Lux should reflect to each person they are valued and that they make a difference. This will encourage each to grow into their God design at all stages.

I believe a big part of Missio Lux should be encouraging families within our Missio Lux family (and the world)to stay connected and healthy. Those with children still at home should be encouraged to protect time with their immediate family which is a God given ministry in itself that should not be taken lightly.

I am grateful to a mother who encouraged me not to volunteer for too many things and therefore have no time for my kids. I wish I had more people around me who believed in the importance of the ministry to family to help resist the temptation to take on too many of the good and worthy needs that surround us or are asked of us. Also to help stay clear headed while surrounded by all the mistaken beliefs about stuff, sports, education, etc in regards to children that can distract from what is right and good.

I believe Missio Lux needs to believe and model a strong love and support of families encouraging balance and showing that we value the time spent ministering to family in the simple things (time together, meals together, serving together, learning together, playing, available...). Scripture says there is a time and a season for all things. I beleive during the season of children at home there should be a high priority of family over other things. It may mean a lighter Bible study, or simpler role in serving so time is not over commited and time freed up to spend with children, learning about parenting, being a parent etc. That time will pass and then the season to do more elsewhere will arrive. Missio Lux needs encourage, visibly value, and celebrate these choices for balance at the various stages of family life. That is how we make room for the children (both as a Missio Lux whole family and families within) and room for us to become like children too.

Missio Lux needs to model what it means to be a healthy relational family with different members and stages integrated as a whole. Children of many stages growing together.